NASHVILLE, Tenn. — National championship, regular season or simply an exhibition. The setting doesn’t seem to matter, not when Vince Young is playing Matt Leinart.
Young outdueled Leinart yet again, Chris Johnson ran for a touchdown and Tennessee beat the Arizona Cardinals 24-10 Monday night in the Titans’ preseason home opener.
The Titans (1-1) never trailed as Johnson scored on his sixth carry, an 8-yard TD that capped an 85-yard drive. The All-Pro watched from the bench the rest of the night.
The top two quarterbacks taken in the 2006 draft didn’t play very much in the preseason matchup. At least Leinart didn’t have to watch Young drive his team down the field late for the win like he did in the 2006 BCS national championship or on this very field last Nov. 29 with a 99-yard drive for a 20-17 win.
“He felt excited about playing,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of Young. “He was prepared, focused and made plays with his legs, made plays with his arm and was really good on the line of scrimmage as well.”
Young has no competition for his starting job these days, and he was 9 of 13 for 128 yards. The former Texas star left after four series with a 10-0 lead, and he said the offense feels like it’s coming together.
“We’ve got to … keep working,” Young said. “Don’t get happy with ourselves right now because we still have a long ways to go. But I feel the confidence in myself as well as the receivers is very good right now.”
Leinart is trying to hold off Derek Anderson for the starting job in Arizona. Leinart, who starred for Southern California in college, was 4 of 6 for 28 yards but produced no points for a second straight preseason game. The Cardinals (1-1) went three-and-out on each of his three series with the Titans blitzing and showing different looks on defense.
“I’m trying to work to get better,” Leinart said. “Guys are counting on me, and I’m confident that we’re going to get the job done and I’m going to get the job done. And that’s the bottom line.”
Manning plans to play
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is back and ready to go.
Manning returned to practice Monday and left no doubt that he intends to play Saturday’s next-to-last preseason game against the Ravens in Baltimore.
“I’m feeling great,” Manning said. “Ready, excited about getting out to practice today and getting back into the action.”
Manning was held out of the Giants’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday because the team was concerned that a gash on the left side of his forehead would reopen if he was hit or that it would be irritated or infected by wearing his helmet.
The 12 stitches that were needed to close the wound were removed Friday, four days after the quarterback was cut in a game against the Jets.
Feeley out, Bradford to start
ST. LOUIS — No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford will get his first start with the St. Louis Rams this week. A.J. Feeley, who had been starting at quarterback, will not practice this week because of thumb and elbow injuries. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after Monday’s workout that Bradford would be with the first team on Thursday night at New England.
Browns to honor players
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns of present will pay respect to their storied past. The team plans to commemorate some of its greatest players with a ring of honor inside Browns Stadium. The names of Cleveland’s football elite will be inscribed on the upper deck facing in the stadium, the first acknowledgment of those stars inside the seating bowl. The initial players honored will be the 16 Browns enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton.
Schilens may need knee scoped
NAPA, Calif. — Oakland Raiders wide receiver Chaz Schilens is seeing a knee specialist and may need arthroscopic surgery. Coach Tom Cable made the announcement Monday about Schilens’ latest injury. Cable says it likely is a result of Schilens overcompensating for his injured left foot. Schilens missed the first eight games last season with a broken foot and was never completely healthy after his return.
Falcons trade Ojinnaka to Pats
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons traded guard Quinn Ojinnaka to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick on Monday. Ojinnaka is suspended without pay for the season opener for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He was arrested in May 2009 and charged with battery after his wife confronted him over his contact with a female friend on Facebook. He was accused of tossing his wife down stairs and throwing her out of the house.
Collins signs with Bears
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears signed 38-year-old quarterback Todd Collins, who’s played for Washington, Kansas City and Buffalo. He is expected to battle the injured Caleb Hanie for the No. 2 spot behind starter Jay Cutler.
Skins Moore out 4-6 weeks
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins free safety Kareem Moore will be sidelined four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his sprained right knee. The third-year player had an arthroscopic procedure Monday, two days after he was hurt in the Redskins’ preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He was injured defending a fake punt and went down without contact.
Shanahan meets with Haynesworth
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says it’s “completely ridiculous” to keep talking about his squabbles with Albert Haynesworth. Shanahan says he spoke with the disgruntled two-time All-Pro defensive tackle Monday, but the coach declined to respond to the strong words uttered by Haynesworth following Saturday’s loss to Baltimore.